A Review of Repurposing Your Home for Changing Lifestyles

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Last updated on January 14, 2021

We hosted our Smart Remodeling Workshop last week at the Schloegel Design Remodel office. Amy Boeshaar and Debby Allmon did a great job discussing Repurposing Your Home for Changing Lifestyles.

Universal Design & Remodeling

Universal Design and Remodeling is based on the idea that all residential environments and products should be easily used and accessed by all members of a household. This is true regardless of a member’s age, size or physical abilities throughout their lifespan.

When remodeling your home using Universal Design there are seven principles to keep in mind.

  1. Equitable Use
  2. Flexibility in Use
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use
  4. Perceptible Information
  5. Tolerance for Error
  6. Low Physical Effort
  7. Size and space for approach and use

Accessible & Adaptable Design

A house built for accessible access meets prescribed requirements. An adaptable home design incorporates a plan for adapting to accessibility down the road. One example of adapting for accessibility is adding a cabinet with storage access that can be modified in the future. Another example is adding blocking for future grab bars. Your home doesn’t have to look fully accessible – but when you are ready, so is your home

Changing Rooms for Changing Lifestyles

A great way to make your home’s space work for you is to modify a room’s layout. A room doesn’t necessarily need to be bigger to make it better. For example, this kitchen shows how a different design creates more space. Removing the peninsula and adding an island created a better workflow. The kitchen now feels much larger and the layout is more conducive to cooking and cleaning up.





Amy and Debby talked about repurposing several rooms as lifestyles change. They first discussed bedrooms. Bedrooms are an easy space to convert to an office, laundry, bedroom suite, exercise room, or closet.

Another underutilized room in many homes is the dining room. Integrating the dining room and kitchen can accommodate more gathering space. A dining room can also be converted into a hearth room, entertainment room, office or library.

Living rooms and family rooms are also great rooms for repurposing. As children leave home parents find they may need more space as their children have their own families. Another room that is popping up in many remodels and new homes is the mudroom. A mudroom is ideal for families with children at home.

Lastly, a few unexpected spaces that could be better used are the space under the stairs, a garage, or an attic. A play space, bench or storage area can be added beneath the stairs. Convert a garage into an expanded living space or first-floor bedroom suite. Playrooms, offices, bedrooms or a hangout space are great uses for an attic.



Bathrooms were a popular topic among the attendees. The big jacuzzi tub of the 90’s is disappearing and often being replaced by a large tiled shower. A shower better utilizes the space and is more conducive to a person with special needs. A zero-entry shower is a great example.  A wheelchair can easily be wheeled into a zero-entry shower.

Debby also discussed how a hand-held shower or shower bar can be advantageous to not only someone with special needs but everyone. People of all heights can use a handheld shower.

Thanks to everyone who joined the Repurposing Your Home for Changing Lifestyles workshop and check back for our 2018 Workshop series.

Are you thinking of renovating your home? Contact us today to speak to a Schloegel expert!